The Tabernacle in Branson's Monthly Newsletter

Volume 6 Issue 12
December 2011 - Kislev-Tevet 5772


Two Recipes Perfect for Hanukkah
selected by Brenda

Roasted Chicken

A Hanukkah Tradition


roasted chicken



1 whole roasted chicken (about 1lb per person)
1 bunch fresh thyme, washed. Pull leaves off 5 stems
2 lemons--1 quartered and 1 sliced thinly into rounds
1 head garlic--cloves separated, peeled, and bruised
3 potatoes with their skin on, coarsely chopped
1 sweet potato or yam with skin on, coarsely chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 leek washed well and sliced into rounds
1 head fennel, fronds included, sliced lengthways and chopped
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly grated black pepper
Splash of dry white wine (about 1/2 cup)
Sumac or paprika

Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.

Find the right sized roasting pan. This mostly depends on the amount of vegetables you want to use. In this recipe I have included a lot, so if you stick to my general list, you will need a pretty large roasting pan. It doesn't have to be very deep though. Two inches is probably enough, but the deeper your pan, the safer you'll be from oven spills.

Rinse the chicken under cool tap water. With a paring knife in hand, give the chicken a "once over" and pluck any larger feathers. (Don't worry about the very small ones.)

Stuff the quartered lemon, about half the bunch of thyme, and half of the garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken.

Place the chicken into the center of the pan, legs and breast down. Throw on the separated thyme leaves and chopped fennel fronds. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil. (If this seems too scary you can relax yourself by mixing all those ingredients first and making a little rubbing mixture.)

Then, rub that chicken all over. Dig into every crevice, fold, and crease. Herbs everywhere, please!

Toss all the vegetables, the lemon slices, and the leftover garlic cloves with some salt, olive oil, and 4 or 5 sprigs of the thyme. You can also use the naked sprigs here (if you haven't already tossed them). Place the vegetable mixture around the chicken in a single layer. Press a couple of the lemon slices against the chicken. Sprinkle some sumac or paprika over the chicken's skin.

Place uncovered in your hot oven for an hour. After about 30 minutes take out the tray, move around the vegetables and pour the wine over the chicken.

It's easy to know when the veggies are done, but here's how you test if your chook is cooked: If you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the fattiest part of the thigh, 180 F is certainly done. If you don't have a meat thermometer, insert a fork into the thigh. It should go in with ease and the juices should run clear. If you're really not sure, you can always cut somewhere in the thigh--it's okay if the flesh nearest to the bones is still a little pink, it's more about the texture--it shouldn't feel rubbery anymore. But every oven is different so for the first time, keep an eye out and use your nose because before you know it, your home will be filled with the delicious aroma of a freshly roasted chicken.




Canned for Hanukkah.

By Avigail Hurvitz-Prinz





approx 6 lbs apples (about 10-12 apples)
1/2 cup liquid--white wine, water, or apple juice (your choice)
2 cinnamon sticks
Cloves, allspice, ground ginger, and nutmeg (optional, to taste)






Peel the apples, leaving about a quarter unpeeled to provide color. Chop the apples and place in a 6-quart pot with a lid. Pour in a half cup of the liquid of your choice, so that there is about an inch of liquid covering the bottom of the pot. Add cinnamon sticks and any of the other optional spices.

Cover the pot, and turn the flame on high. When the liquid starts boiling, turn to medium high. Cook until the apples are soft--at least half an hour, but it could take up to an hour. If it is runny, continue to cook until desired consistency, stirring regularly. The sauce should be chunky, but if you want a smoother consistency, you can break up large chunks with a spoon.

If you're going to eat the applesauce fresh, let it cool and store in the refrigerator. Eat it within a week.

If you're hoping to save your applesauce for Hanukkah, as I am, follow the instructions below.

Canning Your Applesauce

You should have on hand:
--A boiling water canner, which is a pot with a metal or wire rack in it, that holds glass jars and keeps them off the bottom of the pot when boiling. You can create your own canner with a very large, deep pot and a rack that fits in it.
--3 pint-size glass canning jars with fresh lids and screw bands. The jars should be specifically for canning (these are made with tempered glass); old jars you have around your house could crack or fail to seal properly. Canning jars can be purchased at a supermarket, home supply store, or online. New canning jars come with screw bands and lids.
--A ladle or a big spoon
--A wide mouthed funnel
--A butter knife or chopstick
--A jar lifter (can be purchased as part of a canning kit) or a set of sturdy tongs that can be used to remove jars out of boiling water
--A towel

Sterilize the Jars

Fill boiling water canner or deep pot with water, and bring to a boil.

Sterilize your jars by boiling them in the water for 10 minutes, adding the lids for the second half of the boiling time. Even if your jars are new or not dirty, this process is essential--a run through the dishwasher or a soapy rinse is not enough to ensure your jars are sterile.

Remove the now-sterilized jars from the hot water with your jar lifter or tongs, and empty out the water from the jars. Place the jars on a towel rather than directly on a hard surface so that they do not crack. Keep the water in the pot boiling.

Fill the Jars

Using a funnel, ladle the still-hot applesauce to fill a jar, leaving 1/4 inch empty at the top (this is what canners call "headspace"). Remove air bubbles by gently inserting a butter knife or chopstick all along the inside of the jar, moving it up and down, and by tapping the jar against the towel-covered counter to force the sauce to settle.

Clean the rim of the jar, center a lid on the jar, and turn the band on the jar to close it--not too tight. Repeat with the other 2 jars.

Seal the Jars

Place the jars back in the canner or pot of boiling water, making sure you have at least with 1-2 inches of water to cover the jars. Add more boiling water if necessary.

Boil the jars for 15 minutes--begin timing when the water returns to a rolling boil with the jars in place. Turn off the water and allow the jars to stand for 5 minutes before removing them from the hot water (use jar lifter or tongs).

Place the jars on a towel. Leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours so that the seal can set.

Before putting the jars away, check that the lids are sealed by unscrewing the bands and gently lifting the jar by the lid with your fingers. If the jar lifts with the lid as one piece, the seal is good. You can keep the bands on your jars for storage, if desired, though they are not necessary. If a seal is broken, refrigerate that jar and eat its contents within a week.

Canned applesauce can be stored in a cool, dry place for one year.

Note: If you are new to canning, read the detailed information from the
USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation.

approximately 3 pints



Es, es!  Eat, eat!
Es gezunterheyt! Eat in health! (Yiddish)
Leteavon! For appetite! (Hebrew)
Enjoy! (English!)


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